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OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DOCTORAL PROGRAM PHILOSOPHIES:
The Kettering College Occupational Therapy Program has adapted philosophies of occupation and occupational therapy from the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 3rd Ed. (AOTA, 2014). The fundamental beliefs about humans and how people learn is adapted from Andragogy (Knowels, 1980)
“The term occupation…refers to the daily life activities in which people engage. Occupations occur in context and are influenced by the interplay among client factors, performance skills, and performance patterns. Occupations occur over time; have purpose, meaning, and perceived utility to the client; and can be observed by others or be known only to the person involved.” (Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 3rd Ed., p. 53) Occupations are the activities in which human beings engage that provide meaning and purpose. Humans engaging in occupation contributes to their improved health and well-being. Specific occupations are differentiated by the unique characteristics of each individual person, task, and context in which the occupation is engaged. Occupational contexts include the cultural, temporal, physical, and social diversity that are present in our everyday lives. Engagement in occupation creates the fabric and meaning of our human experience.
“In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:
- An individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals.
- Customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals.
- An outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.” (AOTA, 2013)
Fundamental Beliefs about Humans and How They Learn
Main threads of the Occupational Therapy Curriculum Design and Student Outcomes
The concept of student-centered learning drives the occupational therapy curriculum. Students benefit most from active, experiential learning including laboratory experiences, case based problem solving exercises, fieldwork experiences, and participation in projects and discussions.
Student Learning Outcomes: The student will become a committed life-long learner and will practice a client-centered approach with a broad exposure to occupational therapy areas of practice.
Woven throughout the curriculum and emphasized in all core theoretical and clinical courses is the importance of the use of occupations as a means and ends of clinical practice. Students are encouraged to use occupation as the main therapeutic tool.
Student Learning Outcomes: The student will demonstrate the use occupations not only in the assessment of clients but also as therapeutic tools to assist clients in regaining occupational identity.
Also woven throughout the curriculum and emphasized in all core theoretical and clinical courses is the importance of a client-driven therapeutic approach and the collaborative manner in which occupational therapists relate to clients.
Student Learning Outcomes: The student will uphold the knowledge that increased client participation in the rehabilitation process results in enhanced functional and occupational outcomes.
The first year includes didactic coursework on the core concepts of evidence based practice and advanced measurement. Woven into the coursework for the rest of the curriculum are opportunities to apply evidence to case examples on OT practice.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will use and apply critical analysis of evidence during the occupational therapy process and to participate in clinical research.
Throughout the curriculum, students gain an appreciation for diversity of cultures, interests, roles, abilities, and opportunities prevalent in society and the border communities of Southern Ohio.
Student Learning Outcomes: The student will demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of the role of clients’ sociocultural backgrounds on health and participation in occupations.
Throughout the curriculum, students are required to assess their professional behavior using a portfolio-based reflection tool and a Professional Skills Assessment tool. This tool encompasses areas such as communication, commitment to learning, time management, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Students identify areas that need to be improved and document their goals, desired outcomes, and approaches to reach those outcomes. Students meet at midterm each semester to discuss with advisors their goals and outcomes. This process encourages students to become reflective learners and reflective clinicians.
Student Learning Outcomes: Student will display a transformation from a student to a health care professional who will be able to communicate and demonstrate use of self effectively as well as modify behavior as required.
Beginning the first semester, students are guided to understand the Christian concepts of self-giving love and whole person wellness, and how they shape the ideal of service. Throughout the curriculum, students will have classroom and community opportunities to do service, supporting making a habit of service, so that it informs personal and professional choices and builds commitment to others in both the local and global community.
Student Learning Outcomes: Student will uphold the Christian concepts of service and advocate for clients who are experiencing occupational dysfunction, alienation, or deprivation.